Where does good evidence come from?

Stephen Gorard, T Cook

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    30 Citations (Scopus)
    207 Downloads (Pure)


    This paper started as a debate between the two authors. Both authors present a series of propositions about quality standards in education research. Cook’s propositions, as might be expected, concern the importance of experimental trials for establishing the security of causal evidence, but they also include some important practical and acceptable alternatives such as regression discontinuity analysis. Gorard’s propositions, again as might be expected, tend to place experimental trials within a larger mixed method sequence of research activities, treating them as important but without giving them primacy. The paper concludes with a synthesis of these ideas, summarising the many areas of agreement and clarifying the few areas of disagreement. The latter include what proportion of available research funds should be devoted to trials, how urgent the need for more trials is, and whether the call for more truly mixed methods work requires a major shift in the community.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)307
    Number of pages1
    JournalInternational Journal of Research and Method in Education
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2007

    Bibliographical note


    'This is an electronic post-print version of an article published in International Journal of Research and Method in Education Vol. 30, No. 3 (2007): 307-323.


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